Bucks top Cavs and get a little breathing room
|Ersan Ilyasova, PF 31 MIN | 7-12 FG | 8-8 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 22 PTS | +1
The consistency. Ilyasova has always been a high effort guy, but for whatever reason, he couldn’t combine that with consistent scoring numbers. He’s doing it now. Ersan has had 75% of his scores come off assists this season, so it’s certainly benefitted him that this team has started to move the ball better.
|Drew Gooden, PF 30 MIN | 7-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 10 REB | 13 AST | 15 PTS | +3
Dunleavy on Gooden’s passing: “Some nights its tragic, some nights its magic. Tonight it was magic, with a little tragic sprinkled in.”
We’ll forgive the five turnovers, as Gooden had a triple double before the fourth quarter even began. He was the afforded the opportunity to sit out the fourth while his teammates extended Milwaukee’s lead.
|Carlos Delfino, SF 44 MIN | 7-13 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 3 AST | 17 PTS | +18
A good offensive night complete with a nice baseline move for a dunk. Delfino drove from the corner, hesitated, started to change direction and then spun back baseline and flushed it home at the rim. That was dunk number five for Carlos this season. That says a lot about the Cavs defense this evening. But he had it going again from deep and that is always a big plus for Milwaukee.
|Brandon Jennings, PG 30 MIN | 8-17 FG | 0-1 FT | 2 REB | 7 AST | 17 PTS | +9
He didn’t do too much and he didn’t have to. A couple of poke away steals from Jennings in the fourth quarter helped wrap this one up for the Bucks. One led to a Mbah a Moute fast break dunk and Jennings kept the other one for himself and used his body to shield a charging Irving at the rim on the other side. A nice night from Jennings before the experiment with he and Ellis begins.
|Mike Dunleavy, SF 26 MIN | 8-11 FG | 3-4 FT | 2 REB | 5 AST | 21 PTS | +18
A pretty typical Dunleavy of late game. Moves the ball. Hits open threes. Makes quick decisions. Doesn’t get killed on defense. That’s all you can ask of your sixth man. I like Skiles idea of keeping Dunleavy coming off the bench to give them some punch in the second unit and act as something of a short term savior. He can balance things out and keep everyone involved if things get rocky. He’s done it well.
|Beno Udrih, PG 22 MIN | 1-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 8 AST | 3 PTS | +13
Quietly, Udrih’s assist numbers have been picking up. He’s averaging nearly five a game in the month of March despite playing just 26 minutes per game. He only made one shot tonight, but he was again crucial in helping to keep the ball moving and guys moving with it.
Three Things We Saw
- 38 assists is a new high this season. The team has been moving the ball well all season and now it’s starting to pay off with more baskets coming from the ball movement. Of course, Milwaukee could be capitalizing on an easy stretch of schedule as well. But the all the reps this team is getting with each other may be starting to pay off. Chemistry is evident and the passing seems contagious.
- It will be interesting to see how the rotation changes when Monta Ellis joins it. Shaun Livingston has been nursing a finger injury as of late, but he seemed to be on the fringe of the rotation before. Oddly enough, he might be the most natural fit to play with Ellis of all the Bucks point guards.
- The win leaves the Bucks two games ahead of the Cavs for the final playoff spot. Milwaukee and New York are tied, but Milwaukee holds the tie breaker.